Ask me what my favourite season is and I will tell you it’s summer every single time. I live for flip flops and sundresses and slurpees, and long, lazy evenings. I have even taken to perpetually chasing summer as much as I can, in the form of vacations during winter and life abroad in warmer countries (fortunately (!?) nearly everywhere qualifies as ‘warmer’ when you hail from Canada!).
But this year I am really, super digging fall. Fall in Korea is unparalleled. It’s picture-book-perfect fall. Busan sees temperatures as high as the mid twenties through until early November, with the evenings pleasantly dropping to the mid teens. You can wear a tee during the day and go for a splendid hike, then switch into jeans and a light sweater to get through the evenings (I know some of you crazy kids long for “sweater weather”!). Furthermore, this slow descent into winter allows the leaves to lazily change colour. They’ve been turning for weeks, now! BIt by bit, golden hues into orange and red flames, against a still-green backdrop.
I’m surprised to admit that I am enjoying fall here in Korea so much more than I enjoyed the summer. Summers with 80% and higher humidity most days really are just too hot. Believe me, I am as shocked as you to hear myself utter (write) those words. But it’s true. It feels like you are slogging through a mud puddle everywhere you go. Decidedly UNsexy and also a bit exhausting. Fall, by contrast, is exhilarating! For starters, it’s red wine season again! (I’m kidding. NO I’M NOT.) The nature is beautifeous (I’d like to make that a word), the weather is resplendent, the days are not too short yet, baseball games abound (and they are FUN), I daresay the Koreans themselves are at their best – they love fall, too – and there are festivals nonstop.
Did I mention that? Fall is festival season in Korea! There’s a festival, big or small, every week (or at the very least, weekEND) from September through early November. There’s the famous Jinju Lantern Festival that I wrote about last week, there was the Sea Art Festival before that, and there are countless other festivals big and small, dotted throughout the country. Busan has one every weekend, somewhere! Two weeks ago there was the Jagalchi Market festival and this weekend Book Alley is having one. I’m not lying when I tell you there’s a festival for everyone.
To sum: I love fall in Korea, fall in Korea is fabulous, and if you plan to visit Korea, fall is the time to do it. Trust me on this. Spring is good, it’s true…but fall is the Korean season to fall in love with.